Simple Objectives Create Effective Strategies
by Chad Rueffert

Most businesses advertise for one reason – to increase sales and profits.  There are other, complementary goals for any advertising campaign – to introduce new products, to build brand awareness, to liquidate inventory, etc.  But each of those goals has the bottom line effect of growing your business.

In his book “Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got” author Jay Abraham makes an excellent point:  “Did you ever wonder how many ways there are to increase your business?  One hundred ways?  Two hundred ways?  Five hundred ways?  It can be intimidating to merely figure out where to start.  I have good news – there are only three ways to increase your business:  1)  Increase the number of clients; 2) Increase the average size of the sale per client; 3) Increase the number of times clients return and buy again.”

 Keeping this simple analysis in mind can definitely improve your advertising efforts.  Advertising is most effective when it has one focused message.  As you begin planning your next advertising campaign, start by determining which of the three ways you want to grow your business.  Add a measurable amount and length of time and you have your main advertising campaign objective.  For example:


Objective Option 1: To increase our total number of customers by 10% during the months of August, September and October.


Objective Option 2: To increase our average sale by 10% during the months of August, September and October.


Objective Option 3: To increase purchases from existing customers by 10% during the months of August, September and October.

It’s important to set the objective first, because your advertising strategies will stem directly from that objective.  The objective is WHAT you plan to accomplish.  The strategies determine HOW.  If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, or your objectives are too broad, your strategy and message won’t be focused enough to be effective.  Your advertising strategy will be different for each of the objectives listed above.  For example:


Strategy for Objective Option 1: Advertise a 25% discount on your first purchase with our company.


Strategy for Objective Option 2: Advertise a promotion to purchase one item at full price and get the second at 25% off.


Strategy for Objective Option 3: Begin distributing an additional product line of interest to customers who purchase our existing products.


As you can see, each strategy is designed to accomplish the focused objective, and each individual strategy would not be effective for a different objective.


Once your objective and strategy are in place, then you can begin determining the individual tactics you will use.  Most small businesses start at the tactic stage, often driven by which media salesperson made the strongest pitch.  With a solid objective and strategy in place, you can choose among the various advertising vehicles to see which will best implement your strategy.  For example:


Tactic for Objective / Strategy Option 1: Purchase a radio media schedule that reaches a slightly different target audience than our current customers.


Tactic for Objective / Strategy Option 2: Purchase advertising in the local coupon publications outlining our discount offer to encourage bargain shoppers to buy during the months of the promotion.


Tactic for Objective / Strategy Option 3: Design a direct-mail campaign to be mailed to our current customer list introducing our new product line.


Now, with your objective, strategy and tactics in place, you can begin to create advertising materials that will have one focused message.  Your customers will be able to easily understand exactly what you are asking them to do and will be far more likely to respond with a purchase.  You’ve discovered the effectiveness of focused, targeted advertising.  It’s entirely possible that you might have the aggressive growth goals and budget that would allow you to implement all three marketing campaigns to accomplish all three objectives.  But they would still be individual objectives each implemented with their own strategies and tactics.  But it all starts with identifying your goal.

“Ninety percent of all businesspeople don’t have the most basic thing they need – a goal,”  says Jay Abraham.  “The few that do have a goal have the wrong goal, or one that can’t possibly get them to where they want to be.  If your goal is ‘to make more money and become wealthy’ I guarantee you’ll never make more money and become wealthy.  You must have a specific goal.  You cannot effectively get to where you want to e until you know exactly where that is.”